Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Meet your 2016 American Association Champions!

It's been quite month for the Winnipeg Goldeyes: make the playoffs in the last day of the season, come back from a 2-1 deficit to beat St. Paul, and then they do it again, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Wichita for the championship.

I thought I'd celebrate this win...after all, championship seasons don't come around often...with a special digital card set. This design will be used again, my hope is to do a complete league set in the off-season. Gentlemen, it's a been a pleasure to follow this amazon season!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

2016 American Association/Can-Am All Star Game Part III: The Saints

While I'm obviously a Goldeyes fan through and through, I've come to really like the St. Paul Saints franchise over the past couple of years. 

CHS Field is always a blast to visit, a true baseball temple if there ever was one. And maybe it's the sense of humour that permeates their game productions. 

This season I had the pleasure to meet Mark Hamburger, Tony Thomas and Alonzo Harris more than a few times, and their contiguous enthusiasm for the game--and refusal to take themselves too seriously before and after the game--have made them three of my all-time favourites to photograph.

Tony and Alonzo are a couple of characters, I swear they should have their own buddy cop show...they never resist a chance to mug for the camera.

Family were a big part of the home run derby, here's a shot of Alonzo's pops and Tony Thomas taking in the action.

Alonzo has a sick bat and he put it to good use in the HR derby; he ended up coming in second on the night, even though he did a round with a Go-Pro strapped to his head.

He kept it up the next night at the actual game...

And Tony Thomas and Mark Hamburger represented the Saints in fine form as well.

Angelo Songco was there too; alas, he was had sustained a shoulder injury prior to the game and was unable to complete.

I suppose I should mention George Tsamis, the Saints manager. He's one of the best. The North's dugout was crawling with photographers, so at one point in the game I tried to crouch on the steps near his usual roost in the dugout. Under normal game circumstances, unthinkable...but this was a bit different. 

He was going to shoo me away from the steps, but then asked: "are you going to shoot all the players?" i.e. not just Goldeyes. 
"Yes, for sure." 
"Then you can stay." 
So, belatedly, thanks for letting me stick around, George. You're all right in my books.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

2016 American Association/Can-Am All-Star Game Part 2: Lemurs and other creatures

In the middle of 16 games in 18 days so things are crazy here at The Battery...but I did want to get some more All-Star shots before they get too dusty.

One of the highlights of the St. Paul All-Star Game was photographing some of Laredo's top players. The Lemurs didn't have any games scheduled in 2015 or 2016 in Winnipeg so it was a rare opportunity.

Dennis Phipps was one of the participants in the Aug. 1 home run derby:

The following night we got to see some of Laredo's pitching crew: Ryan Beckman, Luis De La Cruz and Jeff Inman. Barret Loux was voted in but unable to participate, and I missed Jose Nivar unfortunately.

At the time, we hadn't seen the Wichita Wingnuts in two years in Winnipeg. That would change in a week or so when the Nuts did a four game trip to Shaw Park. But it was neat to get an advance preview of Harrison Kain and star closer Frankie Reed before they made it to The Peg.

And just before the night was through, I caught glimpse of the lone Joplin Blaster at the All-Star game, Victor Capellan. Lighting was poor by that point and I never did get a good shot of him. But oddly enough, the Goldeyes would make a cash deal for Capellan just ten days later. So I got a second chance to photograph the sideways-capped reliever right here in Winnipeg.